I always talk about how grateful I am for the opportunity to work with a true #dreamteam (i.e. Zanita, Gustav, & all the amazing contributors at the Studio), and I still am!
I’ve learned far more things about real life in the last year than I did working in corporate (no hate).
One of the best experiences I’ve had is the opportunity to build Azalle from ground zero and work hand-in-hand with influencers I would have only known from the swipe of my phone. I have a HUGE responsibility managing the course creation process, which means I work directly with every single influencer. I’ve had the luxury of meeting and conversing intellectually with Zanita (obviously), Sonya Esman, Jenny of Margo & Me, Louise Roe, Sandra Semburg – and I know there are tons more to come. I pick and pry at their brains, and I think it’s time to share the most value I’ve gained from each of them!
My photography work is heavily influenced by Zanita – most of what I learn is through editing her courses on Azalle… You’ll be surprised at how much you know about a certain subject when you have to teach it. (There’s much reinforcement that comes with educating.) My favorite lessons here were related to editing and Photoshop. Specifically, breaking down an image into highlights, mid-tones, and shadows and starting the color grading process there. I also learned to selectively edit parts of an image using the lasso and/or pen tool. Although these sound pretty obvious, they weren’t so obvious in the process. Prior to Zanita’s course, I’d never even touch the lasso – it makes a dramatic difference if used correctly.
I’d heard of Sonya before, but never really took the time to engage in her channels. Talking to her quickly made me realize her appeal – she is WISE beyond her age and shares her experiences bluntly. What I love about Sonya is her emphasis on the subconscious and removal of fear and negativity from her decisions. If there’s one thing I can share that I picked up, it’s that you’re never stuck… If whatever you’re doing is bringing forth anxiety or feels forced – whether that’s your job, relationships, or hobbies – you should be questioning whether it’s the right thing for you. You truly need to hear Sonya speak for yourself… Really a breath of fresh air. I 100% recommend this course.
Jenny is the most business-minded influencer I have ever met… I would have never thought blogging would require meticulous business planning, but Jenny has proven otherwise. I learned from Jenny that it’s important to identify what makes you special from the get go… That means figuring out what you want people to value about your brand, deciding what inspires and motivates you most, knowing how you want your brand to look and feel, and understanding how you want people to feel when they enter your blog. Then, stay focused on delivering those qualities consistently. Anyone struggling with branding could truly benefit here.
Louise’s energy is magnetic… Her background is unique in that she’s a celebrity and an influencer… A magazine editor and blogger… She totally respects our industry. Louise taught me that the key to confidence is slowing down and continuing to do what you’re doing. For instance, in presentations, keep presenting; in interviews, keep answering (or asking) questions; and on social media, keep sharing – perseverance is key and preparation helps. Every time I feel flustered, I remember to just keep going.
Sandra is seriously girl next door – completely relatable in all aspects of life. I love that her career essentially happened by chance (although we know how insanely talented she is). I love street style photography and always strive to emulate that “look” when shooting. Sandra taught me to look for natural movement – you always want to catch a moment that feels natural to the person. It’s the same idea as getting someone to look straight into your camera when you tell them you’re taking a photo, but then you don’t actually take the photo. You wait and then snap – that’s the moment that’s a better moment.
Overall, it’s been a joy working with these influencers on Azalle. I’ve realized how little I know about this industry and I’m sure all of you will find these courses as useful as I do. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried Azalle (along with influencers you’d love to learn from).